The Metropolitan Airports Commission (MAC) administrative staff consists of approximately 600 staff members headed by Executive Director/CEO Brian Ryks. Mr. Ryks reports to the organizations 15-member governing board.


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  • In 1914, Snelling Speedway sat where MSP currently operates.  The auto-racing venue was unsuccessful, and the Minneapolis Aero Club acquired the property for loftier purposes, developing a landing strip on the site in 1920.
  • The first hangar, a wooden structure, also was constructed in 1920 to accommodate airmail service, and the 160-acre property became known as Speedway Field. In 1923, the airport was renamed Wold-Chamberlain Field in honor of two local pilots, Ernest Wold and Cyrus Chamberlain, who lost their lives in combat during World War I.
  • The airport soon became home to Northwest Airways, which in 1926 won the government's airmail contract and acquired the airport's only hangar and in 1929 began offering the airport’s first passenger service. 
  • In 1943 state lawmakers created the Metropolitan Airports Commission (MAC) to promote air transportation and commerce in a seven-county region. In the middle of World War II, lawmakers recognized airplanes represented the future of transportation and wanted to make the Twin Cities the aviation leader for the Upper Midwest.  Also, they wanted to discourage costly competition for air service between Minneapolis and St. Paul and instead to take a regional approach to air service development.  A public corporation, the MAC was the first metropolitan agency created by the Legislature. 
  • With the arrival of international service, MSP underwent its final name change in 1948, becoming Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.
  • In 1958, ground breaking ceremonies were held for what is now Terminal 1-Lindbergh. The terminal opened to the public in 1962. It was designed to serve four million passengers a year by 1975. Passenger growth far exceeded projections, however, with more than 4.1 million people using the airport by 1967.
  • Passenger growth continued to exceed expectations in the 1970s and 1980s. To address this growth, the Minnesota Legislature passed the Metropolitan Airport Planning Act in 1989, establishing the Dual Track Airport Planning Process. Conducted by the Metropolitan Airports Commission and the Metropolitan Council, the seven-year planning process explored options for providing needed air service capacity and facilities for the region. Specifically, competing plans were developed to either expand MSP at its present site or build a new airport elsewhere.
  • Upon completion of the study in 1996, the Minnesota Legislature directed the Metropolitan Airports Commission to implement the 2010 Long Term Comprehensive Plan, providing for more than $3 billion in airport improvements at the current site.
  • Virtually every aspect of MSP has been transformed in the intervening years, with a major expansion of Terminal 1-Lindbergh, a new Terminal 2-Humphrey, expanded roadways and parking, two automated airport trams, and development of a metropolitan light rail system connecting both MSP terminals to the Mall of America and downtown Minneapolis.
  • A new fourth runway, 17/35, opened in October 2005.
  • The Metropolitan Airports Commission has since developed a 2020 improvements plan. The plan is demand driven and will be implemented in phases as needed.